What can I do if my son has to testify against murder suspect and the DA says that I’m not allowed to be in the courtroom?

UPDATED: Oct 7, 2014

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What can I do if my son has to testify against murder suspect and the DA says that I’m not allowed to be in the courtroom?

Is this true? They said it’s because I’m supposed to be a witness for the other side.

Asked on October 7, 2014 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can ask the judge (call his or her chambers) to inquire into the situation, but if you are going to be yourself called as a witness (especially for the defendant), then it is likely the case that you cannot be in the courtroom--they don't want a witness to see/hear other witnesses testimony, since he/she may change his/her testimony in response to it. You should be able to have a non-witness family member (e.g. an uncle, aunt, grand-parent, etc.) in the courtroom when you son is testifying, and you should be able to wait out in the hallway.

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